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Off the Shelf and Beyond the perfect side dish for Moree on a Plate

INSPIRATION will abound in Moree come Mothers’ Day weekend, with a special group art exhibition at The Moree Gallery setting the tone for festivities.

Featuring seven acclaimed artists from across Australia, the exhibition, Off the Shelf and Beyond, opens on Friday, May 11 and signals the launch of the Moree on a Plate Food and Wine Festival.

Gail Berkman, Brooke Dalton, Isabelle Devos, Sally Falkiner, Alison MacKay, Leisl Mott and Emily Persson will each exhibit original artworks, contributing to a diverse and unique showcase of styles and talent.

The exhibition marks Narrabri artist Brooke Dalton’s first at the gallery, however she is no stranger to the region.

Moree born-and-bred on her parent’s, Peter and Annie Williamson’s property Nee Nee, Brooke said she was thrilled to be included in the exhibition.

“I have been visiting the gallery since I was a child, so it’s very exciting to now be included in an exhibition,” she said.

Narrabri artist Brooke Dalton will exhibit a number of still life works, with the exhibition launching the Moree on a Plate weekend.

Painting amongst the chaos of family life from her kitchen table, Brooke portrays the tablescape of her dining table and household vignettes with vivid strokes of confident colour.

With a preference for still life, Brooke is fast capturing attention, recently exhibiting in Sydney at gallery and concept space, Saint Cloche.
Alison MacKay of Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast will also exhibit still life works, primarily flowers in glass bottles.

“The works in this show are all based on things that surround me in my everyday life, sometimes the flowers are from my garden or were given to me by friends, often from their gardens,” she said. 

 “I frequently paint glass and shiny surfaces as I love the refraction and reflection effects that these offer for painting.”

Armidale’s Isabelle Devos admits she had been looking for an excuse to re-visit the ‘vibrant and welcoming’ feel of Moree when the opportunity to exhibit at The Moree Gallery presented.

“I look forward to meeting the community and am very excited to enjoy events the following day at Moree on a Plate,” she said.

Primarily a landscape painter, Isabelle said the variety of landscape during the drive between the New England and North West was also appealing.

Alison MacKay will travel from Jervis Bay with her works

“I work in a bold, contemporary way, simplifying the elements while maintaining some realism. It is about shapes, form and colour interactions,” she said.

“For this show, I am creating some smaller landscape works that are easy to take home and find a spot to hang and enjoy.”

Also well known in the Moree region is Warren artist Sally Falkiner, a popular past exhibitor at the gallery.

“I have been lucky to spend a lot of time in the Moree area, invited to visit by good friends and I love the welcoming energy and style in the town and district,” she said.

Sally said she was thrilled to be part of a group show with artists she admires, and has yet to meet. 

Currently studying a BA in Fine Arts at the National Art School, Sydney, Sally has created a small series of botanical studies for the exhibition, including her treasured collection of ceramics and old bottles.

Off the Shelf and Beyond marks Toowoomba artist Leisl Mott’s first Moree Gallery exhibition, and an exciting one at that.

“I’m so thrilled to hear so many of the artists are coming along to the exhibition, it’s going to be a wonderful opening event,” she said.

Describing her style as spontaneous, intuitive and gestural, her preferred medium is alla prima (wet on wet), mostly in oils.

“My work is focused on the emotive power of landscape; the way a place feels, the memories or thoughts it can evoke, the stories it has to tell of what has passed and how, through painting, a moment or feeling might be captured,” she said. 

Melbourne based artist Emily Persson is also fondly familiar with the Moree region, with her paintings regularly sold through the gallery.

“I have had the pleasure of visiting Moree plenty of times but this will be the first time exhibiting,” she said.

“My inspiration comes from the flat dry landscapes, big skies and the cotton filled fields that make Moree such a joy to visit.”

Gail Berkman, a Sydney-based artist, specialises in original oil and acrylic paintings, with her current body of work inspired by her love of design and graphics.

The playful relationship of scale and composition is intended to surprise and delight the observer. 

Off the Shelf and Beyond opens Friday, May 11 at 10am and includes a Friday evening opening function at The Moree Gallery.

The exhibition concludes June 8, 2018.

See www.moreegallery.com.au or phone (02) 6752 3927 for further information.

Words: Georgina Poole